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Business professor recognized for teaching efforts, awarded NMSU's highest faculty award

Nina Compton, professor of business law at New Mexico State University, is the university's 2007 Westhafer Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.



Nina Compton (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Compton has been a professor of legal studies at NMSU since 1979.

Her colleagues said Compton is one of the university's most distinguished and revered teachers, winning the esteem ofstudents across NMSU.

"She does not just highly impress a select group of students. Rather, the vast majority of students in her courses give her the highest praise possible on her student teaching evaluations," said Finance Department Head Lizbeth Ellis.

In addition to teaching business law in the College of Business, Compton teaches regularly in the Honors College and is an active member of the Women's Studies Program. Business Dean Garrey Carruthers and Honors Dean William Eamon said Compton is a brilliant teacher, a successful attorney, a consultant to state and local agencies, a highly respected member of the university community and a role model to countless women.

In 2006 Compton received the Dennis W. Darnall Faculty Achievement Award, the College of Business Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award and recognition in Who's Who in Higher Education. She has been selected five times for Who's Who Among American Teachers. Compton is also a two-time recipient of the Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Compton published journal articles in Diversity Management Journal in 2006 and 2007 and one article in the New Mexico Business Forecaster in 2006. Ellis said Compton completed these articles while teaching an "overload" schedule, including traveling to Los Alamos to teach a graduate distance education course.

Compton is an active participant in the Faculty Arrowhead Center Mentor Program, providing undergraduate and graduate research assistants the tools needed to assist start-up businesses.

Compton advises and mentors pre-law students in the College of Business and serves as the liaison with the UNM Law School. She founded and advises an extracurricular reading club for her most highly motivated students. She was instrumental in working with the College Student Ambassadors to create the Student Ambassador Lecture Series. She also recruited speakers and participated as a lecturer three times in the series.

The Westhafer Award is named for Robert L. Westhafer, an NMSU professor of mathematics who died in 1957. The award, which includes a $3,000 cash prize, has been presented each year since 1958. It is presented in alternate years for excellence in teaching and excellence in research and creative activity.